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While trying to hold back his tears and weary soul together, Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon condemned those nameless, faceless ‘terrorists’ who firebombed Monterrey’s Casino Royale that killed at least 53 of his citizens Thursday.  However, he was very clear on whom else he blamed – Americans.

Specifically, blaming America’s endless appetite for illegal drugs that provide a premium motivation for drug cartel operations.  He also blamed the “criminal sale of weapons” protected by our 2nd amendment right to bear arms – he’s probably wondering if our founding father’s also meant to arm our neighbor’s across the border.

Can you blame the man who is witness to yet another mass killing of his citizens through the very cartel crack down he authored?  Many of the victims, women and senior citizens, died when armed men told them to get out of the Casino but instead fearing their guns run further inside the casino that was turned into an inferno.  

Calderon like those of us who follow the monthly, weekly, daily and hourly killings related to powerful organized crime groups tend to be numb but every once in awhile you are awaken to the savagery of it all.

Wasn’t it only a year ago this month that 72 Central American bodies were found heaped on top of each other, in Tamaulipas, brutally killed and butchered for their pocket change.

The Obama Administration and the United Nations even went as far as to offer condolences and call for solidarity with Mexico at this time.  The 40,000 or so other Mexican’s that have died in the nearly 5-year effort to crack down on the cartels hasn’t garnered the notice nor a call upon others outside of Mexico to shoulder the blame.

Deep down Calderon, like many other Mexican intellects know Mexico is seeing the negative effects of decades of nonexistent social welfare programs, abject poverty and the absence of the one party political rule that through cronyism and fear held it all together.  If there are no jobs, no opportunity and no hope you go where there are ample employment opportunities, your local drug dealing organization or the U.S.  One option ripe with strife and dead ends and the other no longer an attractive viable option.

While Mexican poets and historians know savagery is part of the country’s legacy, what from the days of the Aztec blood sports to the Mexican Revolution to today’s beheadings and scalpings, blood lust has always been omnipresent.  Remember the iconic Father Miguel Hidalgo, the leader of Mexico’s Independence, was in 1811 decapitated and his head put on display for nearly ten years in Guanajuato for all to see with his severed body left to rot in a prison – sounds familiar doesn’t it.

But for today while the Monterrey morgue is full and families are claiming bodies, Mexico doesn’t want to take blame or look at its ugly past and dim future.

Some reports are blaming extortionists for the arson, an expansion business of the drug cartels but only Calderon looks to lay blame at the U.S. feet hoping they can step forward and own more of the solution – the acts of a desperate and blood drenched presidency.

So let’s allow Calderon to blow off steam and blame us for our drug appetite and lax gun laws, at least for today.  

Today he cannot lay blame on his own country’s history and people because they are too weary and blood soaked to listen – but hopefully we aren’t.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You don't get it. The politicians in this country, (4+ / 0-)

    well many of them, WANT the dead bodies piling up. It gives them more to use in their "be afraid of scary Mexicans" campaigns. Jan Brewer and her "headless bodies" is a perfect example. So by keeping drugs illegal they can make the "for profit" prison industry lucrative, keep the cost of labor low with immigrants who can't afford to demand better pay, and scare people into voting for them. Why the hell would they ever give that up?

    Modern Conservatism isn't simply about them owning as much as possible; it's also about breaking anything they can't own.

    by ontheleftcoast on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 09:12:24 AM PDT

  •  It breaks my heart (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paul Ferguson, brasilaaron, DaleA, splashy

    I have friends who are in the States as undocumented but they cannot go back home because the drug lords have taken over their communiites, killed their relatives and destroyed their houses.

    We like to brag that we are the big, BAD USA ... but don't take responsiblity for our actions or the waves from those actions.  When we ride pell mall throught the mud, we splatter lots of people.

    My heart breaks.

    For everyone born, a place at the table, to live without fear, and simply to be, to work, to speak out, to witness and worship, for everyone born, the right to be free. [Shirley Erena Murray (1996)]

    by CorinaR on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 09:17:35 AM PDT

  •  Give me a break... (0+ / 0-)

    What do you think is being exported here....Toyotas?

    Nope, what is being exported are products intended to  create severe, physical dependence.  An increase in demand for the product is exactly the intended effect of those who export and a foreseeable consequence of those government officials who fail to control export.

    My condolences to Casino victims.  This is a problem that needs to be worked together.  But blaming "America's endless appetite" puts the cart before the horse.

    •  Actually... (5+ / 0-)

      ...Calderon was speaking of America's appetite for an "illegal" product. He was calling for the US to legalize hemp, which would cripple the cartels.

      He wasn't blaming gravity for planes falling out of the sky, as reported by the MSM. He's actually looking at the planes themselves to fix the problem -- legalization of hemp in the US.

      "I never met a man I didn't like." Will Rogers American Redneck

      by chuco35 on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 09:56:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I disagree (4+ / 0-)
      But blaming "America's endless appetite" puts the cart before the horse.

      The trade is profitable because of consumption in our nation. If puchases decreased on this side of the border, profitability decreases, and individual plazas become less worth fighting for.

      Just to point it out- the products being imported ( as every export is an import somewhere else) aren't intended to cause physical dependance- that's a side effect, and only for a small minority of products. Neither marijuana nor stimulants actually causes physical dependancy in a clinical sense- They're psychologically addictive, which is just as bad, but not an actual opiate/benzo/GABAgenic dependency.

      I dunno- seems ingenuous to ignore our role in Mexico's situation, as changes in US policy would have immediate impact on the situation.

    •  totally wrong (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Paul Ferguson, DaleA, tiponeill

      trying to blame Mexicans for trafficking something Americans buy is putting the cart in front of the horse, literally.  The horse is the consumer (hint, the US) and the cart is the traffic(kers).
      Economics lesson:  you can't export what is not willing to be bought.  America is willing to buy tons and tons of cocaine and pot.  Somebody is gonna be willing to export them.  If the US legalized and regulated drugs, the profit margin to run drugs would disappear instantly.

      •  that's a libertarian argument (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        People have a right and perhaps even a [moral] duty to sell anything that someone is willing to buy, and conversely people have a right and perhaps even a [moral] duty to buy anything that someone is willing to sell, and both groups must be held blameless for the consequences or else capitalism will be destroyed.

        IMO it's talking past the issue; at some point, you have to take a stance for or against the drugs themselves.

        •  Good points... (0+ / 0-)

          I'll add this....brasilaaron's argument is premised on free agency, which is undermined in cases of physical and psychological dependence.

          •  agency is undermined in any case of dependence (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Including economic dependence.  Libertarians believe themselves to be all about minimizing dependence in any form, including mutual dependence that benefits both parties, on the grounds that maximizing agency is the ultimate good in both moral terms and practical terms. Except that their policies instead tend to increase dependence in the economic sphere, while systematically destroying possibilities to depend on someone else in the positive sense everywhere else, and maximize agency only for an ever-smaller handful of billionaires.  The sickest thing about them is that many of them - especially the younger and [relatively] poorer ones - truly do not see themselves as class warriors, or else they see themselves a spiritual heirs to the labor movement aiming to make capitalism work for everyone.

            It also never fails to amaze me when people who never miss an opportunity to sing the praises of rational self-interest can turn right around and condemn someone for logically calculating that some level of dependence might actually work to their advantage - "only the weak and stupid who can't handle freedom would do that" - but then libertarians are not the pragmatists they claim to be, but moralists.

        •  Not libertarian but cost/benefit (0+ / 0-)

          The argument is that prohibiting hemp has costs that are higher than the benefits.

        •  Actually, that's not the issue (0+ / 0-)

          The issue is that there are some things that people will do regardless of whether they are legal or not.

          The real issue is who provides those things:
          1. The Government, who regulates and taxes it and uses the taxes to deal with the repercussions.
          2. Private companies, who get taxes which the government uses to regulate it and deal with the repercussions.
          3. Make it illegal and by default criminals do it, so it's not taxed and there are far more violent and dangerous repercussions.

          That's the real issue, and regardless of whether you like or hate drugs, that's the bottom line with things like this. Do you make it as safe as possible, or turn it over to criminals who are violent?

      •  Here's the realistic view: (0+ / 0-)

        Drugs self-create demand through addiction.  There mere importation will create demand where none was before.

        •  sorry (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          but Mexico wasn't exporting drugs to the US BEFORE the US started consuming them.  It's not like there was some cartel of drug dealers just waiting for Americans to become users.  America made drugs illegal and THEN the traffickers entered.  Your premise is flawed, and so is your argument.  
          Legalize drugs and drug traffickers disappear.
          Drugs are not in and of themselves bad or evil.  They are a product that can be controlled and regulated IF the gov't wants to.  So far the US has shown that it wants to not regulate them and therefore support the black market which makes traffickers rich and powerful.

          •  All countries have consumed for a long time... (0+ / 0-)

            I'm not sure what your point is?

            Whatever is imported (or produced locally) will create demand through the addiction of new users and the continuing addition of existing users, no matter how big or longstanding the existing demand is.  Thus, importation creates demand where none was before.

            Legalization is a different issue.  Legalization is offered by its proponents as a means to limit public harms (e.g., drug trafficker violence) caused by the demand.  

            •  wrong, again (0+ / 0-)
              importation creates demand where none was before.

              That is just plain false.  Demand creates importation since it is illegal to produce any of those drugs in the US legally. You can't force people to use any product simply by importing it.  There has to be demand for it, and since that demand cannot be fulfilled domestically, it must be imported.  Your argument is exactly the same as supply-side economics, which has been shown to be wrong as well.
              •  You replied to the wrong post... (0+ / 0-)

                I can't help you find the post you wish I had written though.

                Demand creates importation since it is illegal to produce any of those drugs in the US legally...There has to be demand for it, and since that demand cannot be fulfilled domestically, it must be imported.

                You're talking existing demand.  Of course there is existing demand for imports.  So what?  I'm talking NEW demand.  Mere importation increases existing demand through the process of addiction (i.e., demand where none was before).

                You can't force people to use any product simply by importing it.

                Getting addicted is not the result of force.  The addiction of new users and the continuing addiction of existing users (i.e., creating new demand) is however an intent of import.

                Your argument is exactly the same as supply-side economics, which has been shown to be wrong as well.

                Sorry, but WTF?

  •  Curious... (0+ / 0-)

    ...why isn't the United States nearly as overrun by drug cartels?

    •  it's cheaper to make the drugs in Mexico n/t (0+ / 0-)
        •  same reasons it's cheaper to make anything there (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cera, DaleA

          Land, water, electricity, etc. are cheaper.  Labor is cheaper.  Environmental regulations are practically nonexistent, so no problem with disposing of wastes; imagine how easy it'd be to cook meth down there when you can just dump all those toxic chemicals on the ground like they were dirty water.  Bureaucrats and officials are corrupt and can be bribed to look the other way or might even be eager to participate and make real money.

          •  In other words... (0+ / 0-)

            ...Calderon might look to cleaning his own house before taking the US to task.

            •  Easier said than done (0+ / 0-)

              According to the US DOJ the drug cartels have an annual income of nearly US$50 billion. The entire GDP of Mexico is right around US$1 trillion. That means the cartels are 5% of the entire Mexican economy. Imagine how hard it would be to try shutting down a sector that was 5% of the US economy. The cartels have their blood-soaked hands in every level and branch of Mexican government. The only way to stop the beast is to starve it and we're supplying the food.

              Modern Conservatism isn't simply about them owning as much as possible; it's also about breaking anything they can't own.

              by ontheleftcoast on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 04:46:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Legalization (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brasilaaron, DaleA, tiponeill, splashy

    makes perfect sense but a lot of people are making a lot of money the way things are right now. The Cartels and the law enforcement/prison complex would suffer under legalization. Anyone that wants to buy weed in this country can buy it right now. The weed is not a problem. The blood on the weed is a problem. Buy homegrown if you can. Help stop the killing.

  •  This has been a major story in Mexico (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    not just the bombing but the way people are taking to the streets calling for an end to American drug policy.  Not a peep in the MSM.  

  •  All he has to do is not (0+ / 0-)

    co-operate with our "war on drugs" and make marijuana legal in Mexico.

    It's true that it is our War on Drugs policy that is the cause, but Mexico takes our money for the war and co-operates with us, and then complains about the results.

    He could do his country and ours a favor and decriminalize marijuana in Mexico.

    John McCain is deeply disappointed that Barack Obama has failed to follow through on John McCain's campaign promises.

    by tiponeill on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 04:50:12 PM PDT

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